Dispatches: Five Essential Reads From the Past Week

A collection of some of our most important and timely stories, from a feature on California's troubling oil industry to a look at how Hurricane Florence could have destroyed important historical records.
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A resident walks from her flooded house toward the crew of the Cajun Navy in Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 15th, 2018, in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

A resident walks from her flooded house toward the crew of the Cajun Navy in Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 15th, 2018, in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

A rundown of five of our most important and timely stories from the past week.

  1. Earlier this month, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that prosecuting homeless people for "sitting, lying, or sleeping" on the streets when they have nowhere to go is cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment. However, according to many of Los Angeles' over 41,000 unsheltered homeless people, including those contributing writer Jack Denton spoke to on Skid Row, these legal protections haven't resulted in a noticeable change in treatment from the Los Angeles Police Department. Read Denton's story here.
  2. Grassroots Campaigns Inc. is a company that canvasses for non-profits like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, and is a self-described, "progressive" company. However, according to employees that spoke to contributing writer Arvind Dilawar, GCI's labor practices stand in stark contrast to its outward perception. Read Dilawar's story here.
  3. In the Central Valley of California, oil companies have continued to dump wastewater into unlined ponds that allow toxic chemicals to seep into the region's water supply. Staff writer Kate Wheeling investigates this troubling practice, and why Governor Jerry Brown's administration has failed to put a stop to it. Read Wheeling's investigation here.
  4. Much has been made of the potential infrastructural and economic damage that has been caused by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. But how do you put a price on things like historic archives that trace the history of the slave trade and segregation? Contributing writer Sophie Yeo spoke with archivists in the region who are attempting to address this very question. Read Yeo's story here.
  5. During his climate conference cum coronation as the outgoing prince of environmental leadership, California Governor Jerry Brown made big proclamations about sending satellites into the stratosphere. Alissa Greenberg went into the factory where these objects are being made, and left with some interesting questions about what they mean for both the environment and citizen privacy. Read Greenberg's story here.

This dispatch originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive early access to feature stories, an ad-free version of PSmag.com, and other benefits.

A rundown of five of our most important and timely stories from the past week.

  1. Earlier this month, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that prosecuting homeless people for "sitting, lying, or sleeping" on the streets when they have nowhere to go is cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment. However, according to many of Los Angeles' over 41,000 unsheltered homeless people, including those contributing writer Jack Denton spoke to on Skid Row, these legal protections haven't resulted in a noticeable change in treatment from the Los Angeles Police Department. Read Denton's story here.
  2. Grassroots Campaigns Inc. is a company that canvasses for non-profits like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, and is a self-described, "progressive" company. However, according to employees that spoke to contributing writer Arvind Dilawar, GCI's labor practices stand in stark contrast to its outward perception. Read Dilawar's story here.
  3. In the Central Valley of California, oil companies have continued to dump wastewater into unlined ponds that allow toxic chemicals to seep into the region's water supply. Staff writer Kate Wheeling investigates this troubling practice, and why Governor Jerry Brown's administration has failed to put a stop to it. Read Wheeling's investigation here.
  4. Much has been made of the potential infrastructural and economic damage that has been caused by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. But how do you put a price on things like historic archives that trace the history of the slave trade and segregation? Contributing writer Sophie Yeo spoke with archivists in the region who are attempting to address this very question. Read Yeo's story here.
  5. During his climate conference cum coronation as the outgoing prince of environmental leadership, California Governor Jerry Brown made big proclamations about sending satellites into the stratosphere. Alissa Greenberg went into the factory where these objects are being made, and left with some interesting questions about what they mean for both the environment and citizen privacy. Read Greenberg's story here.
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